NASCAR Cup Series racer and Michigan native Erik Jones is returning to his roots May 19 by hosting a fundraiser at Birch Run Speedway for his Erik Jones Foundation.
The 4/10 mile oval just 15 miles southeast of Saginaw is where Jones began competing on his way to the elite NASCAR Cup Series. Today, the track is putting the finishing touches on a major renovation that will be ready in time for the 2022 racing season. Part of the renovation includes a new event center, and the Erik Jones Foundation will name the space with its first-ever fundraiser. 2022 fundraiser called 3 Reasons to Race, which aligns with the three pillars of the Erik Jones Foundation – igniting children’s passion for reading, encouraging early cancer detection and care, and promoting animal welfare.
Starting at 5pm EDT on May 19, 3 Reasons to Race will include a unique racing game experience where guests can win cash and prizes. There will also be a 50/50 raffle and silent auction featuring souvenirs from notable NASCAR personalities like Richard Petty, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Ty Dillon and Jones, plus other items including four round-trip tickets. in Allegiant Air, authentic sporting goods from the Detroit Tigers and Flint Firebirds, and two tickets to the FireKeepers Casino 400 NASCAR Cup Series race on Aug. 7 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.
“I love coming home and reconnecting with friends and family, and now we can do that with our foundation and raise money for a great cause,” said Jones, a Byron native, who has 18 top-three NASCAR wins. national tourism series – Cup (two), Xfinity (nine) and Camping World Truck (seven). “May is National Skin Cancer and Melanoma Awareness Month, and a portion of the proceeds from this event will be donated to the Melanoma Research Foundation, a group I worked with for several years. I lost my father to cancer, and it made me so aware of the importance of early detection, because the earlier you diagnose, the more options you have for treatment. This fundraiser will go directly to research that offers these options.”
The 3 Reasons to Race fundraiser is highlighted by an immersive racing game event that includes a 15-foot-long board emulating an oval racetrack. Participants purchase “Birch Run Bucks” in the “pit” and then place their bets on any of the six 1/10th scale race cars of their choice. After all bets, the payout odds are calculated. Jones, serving as the grand marshal of the event, will ask for the engines to start, and participants will head to the races, rooting for their favorite car in hopes of winning cash and prizes. Ping pong balls drawn two at a time advance the cars on the board each time their number is drawn. Whoever bets on the first car to cross the finish line wins. And to the winner goes the loot, as only the winners are paid out of all bets placed. Tickets to support this fundraising event are available at 3 Reasons to Race Tickets.
Even with a new look, the Birch Run Speedway is very familiar to Jones. He made his mark on the track at age 14 when in August 2010, he won the Bob Cross Memorial, becoming the youngest winner in ASA Late Model history. Now 25 years old in his sixth full season competing in the NASCAR Cup Series, Jones remains a proud Michigander. He chose Birch Run Speedway for his founding event because of its track record, but also to help drive upgrades across the multipurpose facility.
The figure-eight track and quarter mile oval located within the 4/10 mile oval have been repaved. The 4/10 mile oval has remained untouched as its surface is a favorite with riders, allowing them to have multiple lanes to find speed and make passes. The pit road, however, has new asphalt, and 20 new concrete slabs have been added to the pit area, improving the teams’ working conditions.
The improvements also extend to fan amenities. The parking lot has been repaved and the event center pavilion has been enclosed with sliding glass doors on all walls, allowing it to be used year round, whatever the weather. Soon, Birch Run Speedway will be home to Michigan’s longest bar, with a 130-foot serving area dubbed “Gas Alley” filled with over 50 TVs and additional high-end tables and chairs.
Participants can see the renovated Birch Run Speedway in person, while supporting the Erik Jones Foundation. Silent Auction items and sponsorship opportunities are available to anyone wishing to donate. For more information about each one, send an email. [email protected]
Sponsors already aboard the 3 Reasons to Race include UBS Financial Services, Johnson and Wood Mechanical Contractors, Industrial Propane Service, Alan R. Miller PC, Brad Keselowski and Tina Eller and Thomas Barth.
Erik Jones PR Foundation